Office on African American Affairs

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Office of Equity

Making the County's Health & Racial Equity Vision a Reality

Who We Are

The Milwaukee County Office of Equity (OOE), formerly the Office on African American Affairs, brings a higher level of leadership, expertise and accountability to advance the county’s strategic goals of creating intentional inclusion, bridging the gap and investing in equity to help fulfill this vision. It provides advice, guidance and technical assistance to county leaders, divisions, boards and commissions, and municipalities to analyze policies, programs and initiatives to advance a more equitable community – one in which race no longer predicts health and quality of life outcomes but rather these outcomes improve for everyone.

OOE defines racial equity as the just and fair inclusion of people of color in a society where all people can participate, prosper and reach their full human potential. OOE makes this definition operational by:

  • Building the capacity of county leaders, departments and municipalities
  • Socializing shared language, definitions and concepts to apply a racial equity lens to all decision-making
  • Engaging county residents
  • Facilitating the collective impact to assess and transform policies, practice and power structures to make Milwaukee a region where every citizen is welcomed, healthy and thriving

Service Areas

OOE’s focus is spread across four service areas with dedicated staff positions:

Health & Racial Equity

  • Provides direct support and partnership to Milwaukee County leaders, departments and municipalities in identifying and remedying inequitable policies, processes and practices within and across the County and supporting internal and external diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

Community Resilience

  • Develops standard practices and frameworks for community engagement, and leading and supporting countywide community outreach initiatives and strategic partnerships with an emphasis on communities of color and vulnerable populations across Milwaukee County.

Research & Policy

  • Conducts equity policy analysis and builds equity policy assessment capacity within departments and municipalities to drive countywide and regional equity research and policy advocacy initiatives.

African American Affairs

    • Milwaukee County’s commitment to African Americans and communities remains a top priority. OOE provides targeted outreach and community capacity building focused on examining, defining and addressing issues central to the rights and needs of African Americans across Milwaukee County. Learn about its new Strengthening African American Families Imperative.

Community Resilience Imperative (CRI) Case Study


Through Authentic Community Engagement: Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic for Deep Impact in Milwaukee - A Community Resilience Imperative (CRI) Case Study, readers will explore the impact of deep community engagement and power-sharing through forming the CRI during Milwaukee County's COVID-19 response.

At the outset of the pandemic, it was crucial to involve individuals with expertise and connections to communities impacted by health and racial inequalities in the County's efforts to address COVID-19-related care, prevention, and treatment. This helped bridge gaps, bring invaluable knowledge, enhance credibility, and facilitate trust-building between government and community.

The case study highlights the community-centered decision-making process, the real-time information exchange between the community and systems, and the significance of addressing racism and its effects when advancing health equity. Readers will gain insights and lessons for enhancing community partnerships and empowering Black and Brown populations in public health initiatives. Access the executive summary or read the full case study to see more of the Office of Equity's work.

Executive Summary     Case Study

Equity Compass

Milwaukee County Equity Compass


The Milwaukee County Equity Compass is a newsletter published six times a year by the Milwaukee County Office of Equity. Its aim is to share information about countywide initiatives and OOE’s strategic partnerships, with an emphasis on Milwaukee County’s communities of color and vulnerable populations. Below are links to past issues. 

 

Subscribe to the Milwaukee County Equity Compass

May 2023

July 2023

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